Dubai has emerged as a prime destination for potential property buyers more than ever before, after the global pandemic. Buying properties in Dubai is not just a viable investment option but it offers a hedge against inflation and promises hefty profits and value appreciation. Moreover, not just the expatriates but international property investors are now granted premium advantages in terms of ease in obtaining loans and mortgages.
In recognition of this trend and to boost the investor’s confidence, the UAE government has introduced a number of new investment schemes, laws to regulate the property market and new residence visa programmes.
Why invest in Dubai real estate?
The reasons to invest in Dubai properties can be many but the most significant is that it is one of the most promising markets in the world. A spike in the demand for properties in Dubai is observed over the past 12 months along with an increase in property prices.
According to Dubai Land Department (DLD), Dubai real estate market recorded AED22.7 billion of sales in June 2022, which is the highest sales figure in the last 13 years. It is almost 71 per cent of the total sales volume in 2021.
Foreign ownership is allowed in areas designated as freehold. Foreign property buyers and expatriates can acquire freehold property ownership rights without any restriction in Dubai. Besides purchasing ready-to-move-in properties in Dubai, expatriates can purchase off-plan properties as well, directly from the developer. More often, it involves paying 10 per cent of the total amount to the developer and paying the remaining amount in instalments on specified dates – while the property is being constructed.
How to buy properties in Dubai on mortgage?
Expatriates are facilitated to buy properties in Dubai through a mortgage loan and even a few banks are there to finance non-resident (foreign) buyers as well (who do not live in Dubai) but these buyers have to meet certain criteria. The mortgage is available for non-residents in Dubai and that too, without stressing about finance.
When it comes to expatriates, you can buy a property in Dubai but you will have to be in your current job for at least six months or a year. However, the requirement of minimum salary to apply for a mortgage in Dubai varies from bank to bank. Similarly, the upper-age limit also varies from bank to bank, depending on the bank’s policies.
Some lenders allow UAE nationals with a minimum monthly income of at least AED8,000 to apply for a home loan in Dubai.
What are the borrowing limits?
If you are an expatriate first-time buyer, you can borrow up to 80% of the total value of the property – on properties worth less than AED5 million. The UAE nationals can borrow up to 85% of the property value – on properties worth less than AED5 million.
For properties worth more than AED5 million, the borrowing limit decreases to 65% for expatriates and 70% for UAE nationals.
For properties worth less than AED5 million, expatriates will have to pay a 20% down payment, while UAE nationals can pay 15%.
For properties worth over AED5 million, expatriates are required to pay 35% and the UAE nationals can pay 30% as a down payment.
New Visa Programmes
The UAE government has recently announced major amendments to the entry and residence visa programmes. Under the new programme, multiple visa options have been introduced to offer flexibility and convenience, in order to make the country more inviting and to increase investment in Dubai real estate sector.
UAE’s New Entry and Residence Visa Programme
The new Entry and Residence Scheme offers 10 types of entry visas with easier terms and conditions. For instance, the new visas do not require any host or sponsor, offer more flexibility, multiple entries, 60-day validity and one unified platform to apply for these visas.
A parent can now sponsor a male child to the age of 25 years, up from 18 while no age limit for an unmarried daughter.
The UAE 10-year Golden Visa on Properties in Dubai
The UAE Golden Visa, 10-year visa or long-term visa is a type of investor visa with particular requirements for long-term residency in the UAE that must be met by the applicants. However, not many people know that the golden visa is available for 5 years and 10 years categories. Who are eligible to apply for the UAE Golden Visa?
- Real estate investors
- PhD holders in the UAE
- Specialists in fields of science, medicine, sports, art
- Graduates with a 3.8+ GPA from the UAE-accredited universities
- Top graduates from the UAE’s high schools and their families
As it is previously mentioned, this residency visa can be obtained by investment and the applicant must have public investments of a certain amount in the UAE.
Requirements to obtain Golden Visa through properties in Dubai
To obtain Golden Residency Visa through real estate investment, the applicant must fulfil one of the following requirements:
- An investment that is worth no less than AED10 million
- Having a company within the UAE with a capital of at least AED10 million
- Partnering in a company in the UAE with a share worth a minimum of AED10 million
- The money should not be loaned that you are willing to invest
- You must retain the investment for 3 years
- The investor must have financial assets worth AED10 million
- The business partners can be together in the investment, provided they invest an amount of AED10 million each.
Note: The validity of this visa is for 10 years, with automatic renewal.
The UAE 5-year Golden Visa
You can get this Golden residency Visa by investing in a properties in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE.
A few requirements to buy a property in Dubai that need to be fulfilled earlier are:
- The gross value of the property must be no less than AED5 million
- The amount should not be a loan in any form
- The property must be retained for at least 3 years
Note: The validity of this type of visa is 5 years, with automatic renewal.
Real estate investors can also obtain Golden Visa on the purchase of property worth at least AED2 million.
For everyone, who aspired to live in Dubai, even after retirement – the UAE government has introduced a new retirement scheme “Retire in Dubai”, which allows people aged 55 and above to continue living in the emirate on a retirement visa. However, this visa is only issued to residents who meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria.
- Purchase a property in Dubai worth at least 2 million
- Have at least 20k of monthly income
- Have financial savings of AED1 million
The retirement visa is valid for 5 years and can be re-issued, if the applicant meets the eligibility criteria.
The UAE government has also introduced a residence visa for remote workers, who would want to live in the UAE but work for the organization back home. In 2021, the country ranked as the fourth best place for expatriates to live and work. All these initiatives will be a game-changer plan for expatriates, as it can all lead to long-term residence visa. After which, several will turn towards investing in the properties in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.